Need severe lawn help

Silverback38April 23, 2014

My girlfriend has a yard full of weeds but patches of decent fescue grass (see photo). I'm well aware that fescue is best seeded in the fall but I'd like to attempt to seed it now.
What is the best path to take?
A.) Topsoil the whole yard and plant fescue, water, etc.
--Will the weeds die away with the fresh seed growing and taking nutrients?
B.) Buy some machine to rip up the yard, pull away all the weeds, then topsoil, plant seeds?

I'll admit I am a novice at this and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, the area she lives is southeast Virginia.
Thank all for the help.
Louis

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yardtractor1

You don't say where this lawn is located which may be a helpful.
Your assumption that the seed will outcompete the weeds for nutrients is 180 degrees off.
Sodding is the most likely method to be successful. Have you considered that?
As you appear determined to seed now, I'm going to assume you are familiar with the reasons that Fall seeding cool season (another assumption) grasses is preferable to Spring seeding. Including the issues of weed preasure, I'd suggest that you use RoundUp to kill the weeds and the current small areas of grass. Once everything has died, scalp the lawn with the mower set as low as possible without hitting the soil and rake up the clippings without breaking the soil so you don't expose more weed seeds. Spread your new seed and lightly cover the seed with a thin (no more than 1/4") of top soil or peat moss. apply a starter fertilizer containing mesotrione ( or apply Tenacity) and keep the lawn damp until germination, then water twice a day..

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Silverback38

Yardtractor,
I appreciate your good words.

To answer your question, the lawn is in southeast Virginia, Williamsburg.
I have thought of sodding but that is more expensive and since I am retiring I have time on my hands and feel like getting it done myself, if possible.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:11PM
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yardtractor1

Love Williamsburg as it was a favorite vacation spot for many years, but lawn advice for the area is out of my comfort zone. II'd still venture that my previous suggestion on proceedure to use will likely give you your best shot at Spring seeding success for that lawn. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:51PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

DO NOT ADD TOPSOIL. In fact it appears to me she already has too much topsoil from previous owners adding a 1/4-inch here and there over the years. I'm not sure where the idea of adding top soil or top dressing every so often came from but it's possibly the worst advice there is along with rototilling and seeding in the spring. Mother Nature doesn't do any of those things.

If you seed now you can expect a full crabgrass lawn by July. If that is okay, then go for it. I would not put a lot of time and money into it, because you'll really want to do it again in early Sept.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:03AM
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